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St. Francis Of Assisi And The Blessing Of The Animals - Jan. 17

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posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:56 PM
January 17th is here again and the annual Blessing of the Animals is upon us.

I've always felt close to animals and thankful for all they give us, whether that be food, labour, raw materials, or companionship and comfort. Every year I see people of the Christian faith observing this day, either on the news or in the paper I see people bring pets and livestock to be blessed.
But I wonder the significance of the ritual.

Do Christians believe that animals go to Heaven when they die ?
Are you just giving a blessing to the animals because they contribute to your survival ?
Or is it more to honour the memory of St. Francis ?

I guess I'm just curious about an odd day on the calendar and if anyone on ATS observes this day. And if you do observe it, what it means to you and if you believe an animal has a soul like humans.

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 10:22 PM
reply to post by anxietydisorder

Hi Anxietydisorder/

We(Greek Orthodox) don't have a 'Blessing of the animals', but as they are Gods creatures, we should treat all animals with kindness and love, as they are to, part of Gods creation.
An interesting fact.....once one becomes a Priest, he is not allowed to 'spill' hunting or take part in any ritual involving animal sacrifice, be it for food or sport(sport hunting is forbidden).
(*EDIT AND ADDED*)Likewise a Monk forbidden to eat Flesh of animal as he has taken the responsibility to pray for all mankind and do the work of God,In prayer and in Fasting!
It is not about self, it is about all of mankind....a Monk.

As far as I have animal possesses a soul but not as Humans do...
Humans have a Soul and Spirit, while an animal has a 'soul'..derived from the earth, like all living creatures.

“And dust will return to the Earth as it was,
but the spirit will return to God who gave it” (12:7).
God gave Adam “the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7)
According to the Bible Scriptures/Man has A body...For dust thou art, thou dust you shall return(Gen 3:19)
A force of a man...And God said:Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life..great whales,and every living creature that moveth..cattle, and creeping thing,and beast of the earth..after his kind:and it was so..(Gen 1:20-24).....
And of man?
A Spirit.....the Lord breathed into his nostrils the breath of Life;and man became a living soul.(Gen 2:7)

As far as I know, blessings of the animals is not done in an Orthodox Church.
I guess to have a child say a prayer is not a bad thing in Gods eyes, It was God who created the animals to be taken care of by man, but ..... the fall of man changed nature from its 'original' all good state, to what we know of it today.

(*EDIT AND ADDED*)See above...

[edit on 1/15/2008 by helen670]

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 11:15 PM
I love St Francis! He was an animal lover like me. He also had the stigmata like gemma.

Now, animals dont have a soul, catechism, they have a spirit that runs on a specific grace of God.

You can notice in puppies and kittens, the innocent grace God implanted in their eyes.

God placed his spirit in these creatures.

Also it says when they die, they dont go to heaven. They dont have a soul, they cant have santifying grace. they cant desire eternity.

Now the reason some animals are vicious is because they run on (instinct)

They cant love that outside of their instincts. So if they are hungry, they cant say ( I dont want to harm this creature even though im hungry)

Whereas God implanted in our wretched souls, (sanctifying grace)

That is the ability to have his love and compassion outside of our instincts, and also the ability to love enemies and so forth..

But some animals God implanted his vulnerablitiy and innocence in like the ones made to be pets.


posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 06:28 AM
Thank-you both for your replies, very interesting.

I know I feel blessed just having our cats to share my life with. I think instead of tinned cat food I'll treat them to some fresh fish and shrimp as a special treat.

Also in honour of St. Francis, a walk in the park with some peanuts for the squirrels and bread for the birds might be a nice gesture.

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